Monday Night Raw will broadcast live at 8 p.m. tonight, but it won’t be from Hartford, Connecticut, as scheduled. In fact, it won’t even be in front of a live crowd. Some form of Raw will air tonight from WWE’s television studios in Stamford, Connecticut, after the live event in Hartford was postponed due to a blizzard that is scheduled to arrive late Monday night and last through Wednesday.
It’s not known what WWE plans to air in its three-hour timeslot.
The storm has ignited a firestorm of events for WWE. First, the live Raw show in Hartford tonight has been moved to Thursday. WWE will air Smackdown live Thursday night, in Raw’s original venue – the XL Center in downtown Hartford – where the majority of its crew and talent roster will be sheltered in a hotel for the next three days.
Boston was scheduled to host a Smackdown taping on Tuesday night, but that event has been canceled altogether. Fans with tickets to the Boston event can either exchange their tickets for tickets to a house show on June 27, or receive a full refund.
It appears, through reports and WWE sources, that tonight’s Raw script will actually play out on Thursday on Smackdown. It’s not known if all advertised talents will appear, however. The biggest name that is on the bubble is Brock Lesnar, who was advertised for Monday’s post-Royal Rumble Raw, but theoretically could have made a flight back to Minnesota early enough on Monday to avoid a three-night stay in Hartford.
Most of WWE’s crew will remain in Hartford to wait out the storm, however.
As of early Monday afternoon, WWE was said to be still sorting out details on what will air tonight. Most agree that it will be some promos that will be recorded today at the arena in Hartford, along with match replays, perhaps from Superstars, which is a show that no longer airs in the United States.
WWE could also use the opportunity to push WWE Network programming, airing some WWE Network original content and even some NXT matches. According to multiple sources at the XL Center, WWE and the venue fully intended on proceeding with Raw as originally scheduled tonight. However, late Monday morning, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy issued a travel ban that would go into effect at 9 p.m. local time, restricting any vehicles from state roadways other than emergency vehicles.
Malloy is the former mayor of Stamford, where WWE has had its world headquarters since 1985.
“Again, I think people need to get home tonight, as safely as possible,” Malloy said in a press conference Monday morning, “and as important to the world economy as wrestling is, our public safety still tops it.”